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Re: Responses and Revisions -- Part 1

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 10:52:21 +1100 (AEDT)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.990114103712.9995B-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
In response to Eric Hansen's comments, I think his proposed guideline
(with its accompanying checkpoints) is problematic even if the issue of
cost is completely set aside. Some subjects are inherently very complex
and can not be simplified or represented visually. To take an example from
my own field of study, essays in metaphysics and epistemology involve a
certain degree of conceptual complexity and are not amenable either to
simplification or visual depiction. This is a result of the nature of the
subject matter, quite irrespective of the financial resources at one's
disposal. It could be translated into sign language (or multiple sign
languages), but would still remain a symbolic representation and hence be
inaccessible to many of the people with whom Eric is concerned. 

The assumption simply has to be that anyone who visited a web site devoted
to these topics would be expected to have the knowledge and experience
required for adequate comprehension. The complexity of the content is thus
relative to the subject matter, and one has no choice but to recognise
that to some people (whether due to cognitive disability, lack of
familiarity with the language in which the text is written, etc.) it will
not presently be possible to understand the information supplied by the
web site.
Received on Wednesday, 13 January 1999 18:52:27 GMT

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